Speed run of Half-Life on hard mode in 21 segments, completed on June 21 2004. Available as Divx 640x480 or 320x240 and original recordings as .dem files, which require version 188.8.131.52 of Half-Life to play. Time includes a half second penalty for each demo recording beyond the first, because the engine skips a little bit on each load, and to discourage large amounts of demos.
First off, I have to give credit to -think.circle- and Dopefish because I would never have done a speedrun if someone hadn't done a run before me, and I used a lot of tricks from their runs. Also, the majority of the time saved on this run is from tricks Spider-Waffle found (some of which are quite crazy).
This run is somewhat different as it's in 21 segments rather than the 42 or 106 of the previous runs. It saves a bit of time because there's a half-second penalty for each segment on SDA, but even with this I'm sure someone could easily improve on this run by breaking it up into segments around a minute long, simply because it's far easier to get good times with short segments. Overall, there are a lot of places the run could go smoother, but I think doing long segments perfectly is best left to the QdQ people. ;)
Also, since a lot of new major shortcuts were found while I was recording, I did some "replacement" sections, trying to end up with the same health, weapons and ammo. Thus there's a few small discontinuities (losing 1 health, losing some shotgun shells, gaining a few 9mm bullets) but nothing that would affect the run at all.
About the possible improvements: Some I didn't know about, some were mistakes, some I didn't try because they're too risky. Many of these moves have already been done by Dopefish in his run and some Spider-Waffle has thought up and have appeared in a collection of shortcut clips.
Part 1: Anomalous Materials (start - 5:31)
The start of this segment is standard fare: getting the suit, jumping down the elevator shaft and catching on the ladder to avoid damage. In the first room with the scientists I push one over to the door to make it open up early. Almost any door can be opened by any NPC (including monsters) if they get close to it. However this only works if you enter the map after you've loaded a game. In the next room with the two scientists I push them closer to their scanners, then when they open the door I push one scientist onto the door, then hit the trigger to close it, thus jamming the door open. After I start the rotors I hide in the back of the chamber so you, the audience, would only have to endure a faint stuck door noise. After I start the resonance cascade (yay) I pull the cart out as far as it will go, allowing one of the alien slaves that spawn and fall to land on it and avoid getting teleported away. With the door jammed open I can hide in the small ready room and avoid being teleported away to all that crazy stuff. While I wait out the teleports, I keep the alien slave from killing the scientist and closing the door. Then I get in position for the jump at the start of the next section.
Right after you get the hazard suit you can jump over the railing and avoid going up the steps.
Part 2: Unforeseen Consequences (5:32 / 7:10)
I made a new segment here so I could avoid the blackout that usually accompanies the start of this chapter. At the start I do one of the silliest things in this run, make a lightning jump off of a hovering alien (yes the cart disappears during the level load). When I get up there I hit the trigger for the green lightning and proceed as normal.
Jump and curve around into the vent
Avoid the health chargers (I only got them because this was a replacement segment and I needed to have 100 health at the end
Getting into the vent in the computer room can be done much better
Jump directly into the hole to the sewers
Slide down the right side of the diagonal elevator shaft and duck in under the railing
Part 3: Unforeseen Consequences / Office Complex (7:11 - 8:19)
At the elevator I hit the button through the wall to close it. There's a trigger you have to be inside for the level to change, and fortunately it extends to just beyond the elevator. When the new map loads, I'm already outside the elevator so I don't have to wait for the timed sequence to open it up (it's one of those elevators that doesn't actually go anywhere, it just plays sounds and acts like it does). Now, since I'm out early I can run over and use a scientist through the doors. When he walks toward me, he opens it up, saving some vent-crawling.
To get to the other side of the broken bridge you can get a boost from the Bullsquid
Another way you can do without damage is to push a box into the water and start over to the left. Hold jump and use, then start strafing right to build up speed, then curve around and use the slope to launch you up to the landing
Run straight through the hallway with the zapping lights and headcrabs (I delay a little because those headcrabs liked to jump at me and stop me dead)
Kill all the headcrabs in the vent faster
Stand up right before the fan, then move forward and crouch to get under it quickly (you keep your standing speed for a bit even after you crouch)
Right off the bat I use one of my favorite tricks from -think.circle-'s run: Jump onto the small box, then jump towards the ladder and quickly duck so to not hit the ceiling, then un-duck to catch the ladder once you're past it. I grab the shotgun because I'm going to need to do some hardcore death-killing for the next trick. I'm luring the barney guard to the "one way" door and he gets distracted by any enemies in the area. I don't think I needed to kill that first zombie but he sometimes was able to wander over and attack the guard while I was busy with the headcrabs. In We've Got Hostiles there's a short interval you can use the scientist (between his lines), I use this and push him into the door to open it. Inside of the security station there's a trigger to toggle the door, so I kill the scientist so it doesn't shut while I'm opening the big silo door from the inside. Before I leave I grab 1 armor from the charger because I'm replacing a section and I need 34 armor. At the start of Blast Pit I use the wonderful ladder-stopping trick. At the end of the train ride, there's a trigger_push to send you flying over the radioactive goo. I make sure to be running forward when I hit the trigger so I fly down to the pipe opening faster.
Getting through that vent can be done a lot more smoothly
Play the "getting past the headcrabs" parts more aggressively (I chose the lure and scoot method)
Get a different shotgun: in the office part with all of the Slaves go to the right to the sign that says "Maintenance Access", break the ceiling and climb up to get the shotgun then jump out of that turret room and continue
Use only a single shotgun burst to kill that first Alien Slave, allowing you to more quickly move on to double burst to kill the second one
Get the barney guard to help you kill the headcrabs
Slide or jump under the silo door as it's opening
After you hit the switch for the big elevator, grab some health from the adjacent room (if needed) then jump down right as the door starts opening up then curve around the elevator and hit the ladder
Part 5: Blast Pit (10:59 - 11:45)
This one's short because it contains a jump that's quite difficult to get regularly. I jump in a slightly different pattern from the previous runs, letting the headcrabs leap past me rather than try to jump between them. This jumping pattern also gives you a lot of curving, what's really needed to build up the speed for the jump. After I land I use the latch through the wall so I can get back through later.
Land on the top of the little pipe to the left to minimize falling damage
If needed, there's 20 health in the niche to the right on the catwalk that doesn't take too long to get
Part 6: Blast Pit (11:46 - 15:25)
I don't know what possessed me to make such a long segment on a part that's so trick-intensive and unpredictable. It literally took me about 8 hours of effort to get this. Anyway, there's like 7 different ways of jumping down the silo at the start without taking damage. I chose this one not because it's the fastest or most reliable, but because it's the funniest, and it's at the start of the segment so I can retry it without penalty. When I first load the map that contains the tentacles, things are really funky with the scientist, the zombie and the barney guard because the mappers didn't intend for a player to enter from that direction. I hated going through the center of the silo because it was so hard to tell what the tentacles were going to do. I eventually had to settle for taking the damage while running through. On the fuel/O2 wing I jump down the hole and land in the water to avoid damage. (All water is like this, even little pools) Shooting the grate beforehand didn't always go well; sometimes the random spread of the shotgun pellets would just miss the grating. For the red vent part, the grenade was supposed to break all of the boards on the left side, but I was off a little, so I had to move over to the right and shoot another board to salvage the run. After starting the rocket test through the wall I hide on the ladder between floors where the tentacles can't hit me. I got the HEV power here because I thought I would need it for the electric water and all the potential damage in the next section. It turns out I probably shouldn't have stopped here, especially since it was out of the way, but oh well.
On the silo jump land on the small sloped side of the control panel. If done right it should break your fall with no damage and push you horizontally in the direction you want to go, but it's *really* difficult to do.
Ride/ get pushed by the rotating trams on the top level of the generator silo
When jumping down in that silo, landing on the control panel will prevent falling damage
Bunnyhop through the radioactive leak (faster, but you take a little damage)
Don't take damage going through the tentacles
Shoot the explosive boxes right off so you don't have to stop to get the 20 health
Crouch-bunnyhop down the sewer pipe
Shoot the grille with a single-shotgun blast
Double shotgun blast the boards as you're getting blown up by the fan
Make sure the grenade kills enough boards to get by on the left
Grenade jump up to the firing button
After killing the tentacles, use fewer hops to jump down the hole
Don't stop for the HEV, just make sure to take less damage on the rest of the run
When doing the jump to the pipe, you can land on the sloped part to take less damage
Part 7: Blast Pit / Power Up / On a Rail (15:26 - 16:22)
I made this one short because of the difficulty of that second tripmine ladder... and because I had just finished making part 6. Tripmines start out non-solid then change to solid slightly before their lasers turn on, allowing one to use them as steps. I throw grenades at those last two boxes and run, then pick up the two medkits and tripmines that were in the boxes shortly after I jump the barrier. They're there because Half-Life's level loading system brings over all items and monsters (and players) on a load and puts them at the same coordinates they were when the level loaded. Apparently, the Half-Life mappers goofed and made two rooms overlap, causing those items to show up in an apparently different location.
None that I know of, except for jumping up the tripmine ladders more quickly
Part 8: On a Rail (16:23 - 18:21)
This part's main annoyance was having navigate through all that electric rail on foot. If you get down into the track part it's annoying to get back up, plus if you're there on certain map loads, you'll just get stuck. Anyway, this section illustrates how grenades affect enemy AI. If you fire a contact grenade or throw a normal grenade, enemies in a wide area turn off their "Kill Freeman" routine and initiate their "Holy crap a grenade!" routine. Grunts will duck and cover for a few seconds and Assassins and Alien Slaves will stop any attack and run away, which can be quite useful for getting out of heavy situations with little damage. The rails go by a system of "damage, wait, damage" so at the start when I have to jump on the rail I walk a little along it so it's easier to jump off. I use a HEV charger through a wall at one point (with a bonus of 10 health). For the elevator with the explosives at the top I throw a grenade through an invisible gap between the elevator and the wall.
Don't have to stop on the ladder to kill that first Grunt
It may be faster to bunnyhop down a lot of the parts rather than wallstrafe
Shoot a contact grenade to distract the 3 Grunts instead of waiting for a normal grenade
When going through the rocket silo, you can go off to the right and land on the grunt's head (still take damage though)
You might not need to pick up the contact grenades at the end, I had a lot to work with in Apprehension
Part 9: On a Rail / Apprehension (18:22 - 20:43)
At the start I crouch-hop down in the pit to avoid the electricity damage (which happens sort of haphazardly). There's nothing much to say about the rest, except that when capturing the run I used stopsound so you wouldn't have to sit through the loud and obnoxious door opening loop during the rocket firing.
Shoot the first contact grenade to the left side a little, allowing you to move on without stopping
Part 10: Apprehension (20:44 - 22:31)
I avoid getting that shotgun ammo because first I don't need it and secondly the top of the box breaks and two annoyingly placed Slaves spawn if I do. In the room outside the freezer I throw the grenade right off the bat to kill the Headcrab hiding behind the console. If it's left alive the all-seeing scientist will know and refuse to open the door. Later on I do a contact grenade jump to get up to the platform and pull the lever from the opposite side. The amount of push you get depends directly on how much health you lose. The ideal amount of armor will let you lose just enough health to make it to the platform, which is around 30. This is why I shot those contact grenades during the elevator ride, 34 was usually too much armor for me to make it. Also, that's why I accepted the lightning hit I took while going through the freezer. When you enter that room and the lights go out, what actually happens is you're teleported into a pitch black room right behind the room you just ran into but you're facing the opposite way. So while the sounds of the guards ambushing me play, I run over to the wall and grab 25 health off of the charger in the adjacent room.
Don't pause while jumping on the platforms above the water
Instead of pushing the box, jump on the black structures to the right
Before the freezer, shoot a contact grenade into the far corner of the room. Sometimes this will cause a Slave to run into the door and open it up without you having to kill everything in the room
Face backwards and put some horizontal on the contact grenade jump, thus starting it earlier and getting you to the switch faster. This will require a greater health loss thus you'll need to have less armor for it
Part 11: Apprehension / Residue Processing (22:32 - 25:18)
I start the segment here because when you load from this point you get to see your surroundings for a little beforehand. After it blacks out there's a couple seconds until the clipping area around the box disappears and the box breaks. If you're in the air at that point you'll make it onto the higher boxes right at the start. It's possible to make it up onto a higher box on the first jump, but I opted to crouch and jump because it's more reliable. Once I'm up there I start the crusher going full speed to break the box covering the escape route, then jump off the ladder and keep my speed to get the crowbar. During the third jumping puzzle with the green goo (the one with the two mixers) I jump on the edge of the vat and hold only the strafe left key because there's no friction there (presumably to keep players from just walking around the edge of the vat). The part with the mashers and 3 conveyor belts was annoying because I couldn't really tell if one of the belts was going to leave an opening. I had more than one attempt thwarted due to all 3 routes being blocked off when the mashers are stopped. I suspect it's possible to get by there without stopping the mashers but even if you could, it would be really hard and wouldn't save you that much time since you'd have to be in that room for the satchels, armor and magnum. At the top of the slope I hit duck to keep on moving over the edge, a technique that works with most sloped edges that would normally stop you. Going down the other side I duck because it gives the belt more room to push you horizontally before the ceiling pushes you down again. Shortly after that I narrowly escape death from the second vertical masher; if you watch closely you can see it pushing me down at the end of the jump. Those tripmines I had to jump over ended my runs a lot; the time window for jumping there isn't very big. Despite a minor delay at the rolling crushers the segment had gone about as good as it could go, thus I was too cautious at the jagged-teeth smasher and waited an entire cycle extra to go through when I could have just jumped in there right away.
Jump onto a higher box at the start
Strafe-jump at the end of the pipe and curve around to the right. If you hit the right section of ground you'll be pushed forward at a good rate (with a little damage), allowing you to quickly bunnyhop to the valve.
Go down the center conveyor belt instead of a side
You can jump past the third horizontal masher before it closes again (I opted not to because of the risk and how it works out better with the vertical mashers when you wait)
Immediately jump down at the jagged-teeth crusher
Part 12: Questionable Ethics (25:19 - 27:02)
These first two guards have a good retreat path, allowing me to damage them from far away then finish them off while they're retreating (or trying to shoot headcrabs through a wall). I grab the Snarks here because it's basically the only place to get them that isn't horribly out of the way. And even though it takes a long time I also grab the tau here because it saves even more time later on.
Jump over the electric fence with no damage
Shoot the glass covering the button with the magnum
Shoot the red hat Grunt with two magnum shots so you don't have to wait for him to die to get the Snarks
Don't stop on these two guards. Many methods would work, including getting headshots (though it's hard when their backs are turned)
Use the magnum and don't pause when firing at the tripmine
Get the contact grenades and energy cells faster so you're right at the computers when they get blown up
Part 13: Questionable Ethics (27:03 - 27:46)
I really hate the headcrab corridor part, so I stuck it in its own segment. In his run Dopefish was able to get the scientist to follow him down the hall without stopping or disturbing the headcrabs. After trying that myself, I quickly gained an appreciation for that part which I didn't have before. I couldn't get it to work but like once or twice (and of course I wasn't recording then), so I have to make him run down the hall scared, which is slower because he stops when passing the headcrabs.
Get the scientist to run through the headcrab corridor of doom without breaking the glass
Spider-Waffle was talking about this one: he planned to bring out the scientist, park him at the T-intersection and pick him up when he got back. If it's possible it would be really darned hard.
Start bunnyhopping first then shoot the explosive boxes while you're headed toward them
Part 14: Surface Tension (27:47 - 30:13)
This is my favorite segment since it's got a lot of fun tricks and a low unpredictability factor. At the start here I jump and sort of slide around the side while holding backwards to climb the slope, where I get to reload my weapons in peace. Parts of it up there act like water, as in you can swim around freely in it. You can't see it on the demo but while you're playing you get the green haze effect of being in water as well. When I jump down I land in the sloped wedge thing to avoid damage (that's method #4 of not taking fall damage, I hope you're taking notes). The next part I think plays out differently depending on whether you enter the map clean or load from inside the map (and I think the first way goes better). Some times when
I entered the little alcove with the sewer hatch valve the helicopter would fire its rockets and kill a couple of the Grunts. It didn't happen this time but the guards didn't give me much trouble. I shoot off the contact grenade here as a measure of insurance to keep them down. Right after that, it's possible to jump up over the second rock as well as the first one, but then you're completely missing the level change trigger and you're just wandering around in a bunch of nothingness, which is actually kind of funny to do. On the cliffs I use tau+slope again to get up into the watery sky of the level. After the cliffs I tau out of the trench off of the slope on the pipe, then quickly fire off a contact grenade to keep the guards quiet for a few seconds while I escape. I grab the normal grenades here because I'm out of contact grenades and need something to distract stuff with later.
If you need health at this point you can start charging the tau, run out and grab some then do the jump. If you're lucky you won't get hit by any of the Grunts
Right before the cliffs you can jump and crouch then do a series of jumps to keep your momentum on that last section of pipe. However there's an autosave there that frequently messed me up.
Use the tau and some well timed jumps to boost down the pipe at the exit of the cliff level
After you tau out of the pipe It's possible (and not that difficult) to get through without taking damage
You can lob a grenade to take out the electric boxes (or whatever they're called) then jump from the fence directly onto the slanted tower
Part 15: Surface Tension (30:14 - 33:08)
The major change to this part is skipping the weapons room. The biggest time hit for skipping it is having to call in the airstrike manually rather than using the 5 satchels on the door. However, I came out ahead in time overall and the 5 snarks and 2 tripmines I had at that point were enough for all the necessary shortcuts until the lambda complex storage room. Tauing down the door was a little hard to do reliably, as it seemed quite picky about where it needed to be shot to break. That's the main reason I don't bunnyhop over there; I need to align myself for the shot. Then I put my precious grenades to good use distracting the Slaves while I perform Funny Alien Jump #2. When Snarks don't find a target, they start jumping toward you. If you throw them at a wall they will instantly change their AI from "wander" to "cut Gordon with tiny pincers". Incidentally, they're also solid, and have the ability to jump in midair. Thus when I throw them at the wall and under me, mashing the jump button lets me get a pretty good height boost relatively quickly (plus I get to keep my armor). Multiple snarks work well because they jump off of each other; with 15 you can get high enough to kill yourself jumping off. During this particular jump the Slave off to the left would often bother me, that is until I found out it doesn't even spawn until you hit a trigger that's a little off to the left of where I do the jump. When I jump down I use the barney through the wall then escape from my over-eager snarks. After we get outside I start killing stuff but miss a shot on the second Grunt, but fortunately the barney saves the day and I get through the door without slowing down too much.
Jump off of a snark onto the barrel then over the railing onto the elevator (at any rate you don't need to kill the headcrab, it had just been blowing me up way too much)
Make sure to grab the hornet gun here, saves time later
Get past the guards in the hall without stopping
Start the jump onto the long ramp a lot earlier (you might need to break the box and sentry gun with the tau in order to have enough charge to do it)
Grenade/contact grenade jump over the wall to the big gun, using it to break down the door while you charge the tau cannon (with no ammo cost, yay)
Grenade jump up through the gap in the ceiling to the left side of the jump pad instead of using snarks
Keep the barney from pausing as you get to the second door he opens
Land directly on the control platform or at least on the small pipe leading to it (I kept on sliding off to the side on that pipe)
Tau over to the door after you airstrike it
Part 16: Forget About Freeman / Lambda Core (33:09 - 36:02)
At the start there's a really funky sound: that's what the tau sounds like if you hold right-click on a level load (the charge actually disappears). Soon after this I get to use my grenade-distraction-and-blowing-up-fu on some more Slaves. Then I get to really screw up my tau water-skimming technique. If you hold down the jump button when you're over water, you'll stay above it and keep all the speed you had (I did this at the end of part 9). I use the tau to boost through these water sections, however I was playing like an anemic weasel when I tried to do it. The only reason I kept the section was because the health worked out so well. My objective was to end the section with 100 health and no HEV power, to prepare for the grenade
jump at the start of the next section. I had planned on using the health chargers a lot to keep me at 100 health, but I only needed to stop and grab 5 health (in addition to the health I get waiting on the elevator door to open). Anyway, after the tau skimming I throw a distraction grenade then get to the elevator and pull the trick I did in part 3, skipping the elevator wait. After a quick snark hop in the assassin room I went through the left hallway to keep my precious 100 health. The room right after this is another Âkill everything for the scientist to let you inÂ room. At the start I kill two Alien Grunts with the tau (you can't see the second's corpse because he gets gibbed). For the last one I jump to get into the trigger that tells the scientist to open the door before shooting the barrel+tripmine. When inside the room, I use the scientist to get him to walk over and open the door early. Before I jump down into the water pit I hit the Alien Grunt with a crossbow shot to stun him long enough to get away unhurt.
When doing the tau skimming, duck right before you get to the water exit to get up there quickly
Use the hornet gun to close the elevator doors early (hornets have the ability to stop or reverse most map pieces that can be reversed)
Use it again at the double blast doors to reverse them just as they're opening (the level loads when they close)
The tau can be shot off earlier and still kill those two Alien Grunts
Part 17: Lambda Core (36:03 - 39:17)
For some reason, crouching gives you a lot more push when doing grenade jumps. On this one I had to make sure the grenade was above water when it exploded. I liked this part because I got to trot along with 1 health in true speedrunning fashion. To jump that small gap afterwards I walked backwards then right as I got to the edge I ducked and fired the tau. I also had to aim to the left a bit to avoid hitting the pipe. The teleporter part is interesting, as the second you load the map, the platforms in the main room start spinning, so you have to get to port 2 within a certain amount of time. When I arrive at the main room I do a tau boost to bring me right to the port, but if you do the previous part very quickly, you won't need to make that tau boost. When I get to the top I tau over to make it onto the platform, then carefully align myself using the crossbow crosshairs then jump through the bars using the snark as a step (I didn't want to mess this part up after finishing that crazy room). When I get up to the storeroom I hit the barney with the tau, causing him to run forward and open the door for me. Fortunately, this room gives me every weapon and full ammo for everything but Snarks; the ammo situation before this was somewhat tight. It got lost in the capturing (like most lip-syncing) but if you watch the scientist closely you can see him open his mouth every time you hear a beep. To distract the Alien Controllers all I did was try to keep them in my line of sight. If they can see you, they'll shoot you, otherwise they'll go for the scientist. I lost a lot more HEV power than usual here, but it doesn't really matter since you get one metric crapton of it in the Gonarch fight.
Make it up onto the first catwalk on the grenade jump and next to the second ladder (might require contact grenades to distract/explode the Slaves)
On level 2 of the main teleporter room, tau off of the pipe then curve up and around to go between the bars without stopping
Shoot the barney with the tau as soon as he runs into sight
Jump into the portal at the earliest possible moment (it's even good slightly before it turns red)
Part 18: Xen (39:18 - 39:54)
It should be obvious why I made this one short. Anyway, at the end of the big jump you can land in three different places: in the water, on the slope to the left (what I did) or on the slope closest to you. All seem to take about the same amount of time so I just took what I got. I haven't quite pinned down the movement of those weird leaf things, you might be able to do this part faster going to the ports in a different order or something.
No major ones that I know are possible
Part 19: Gonarch's Lair / Interloper (39:55 - 42:31)
Gonarch works kind of strangely in that the only damage that counts against it has to happen after it reaches a certain point. There are three points each in the first two areas and I think 2 in the last one (above the net, then below it). At each point there's a different amount of health to take away to cause him to run on to the next one. That's why I use satchels and tripmines for a lot of it; it's easy to quickly do a lot of damage, and you know where he's going to run. At the very start it's actually blacked out, it's just a demo playback error that lets you see. When the black starts to fade away I set up the first point and use one of my contact grenades to kill the headcrabs (because I have 10 at this point and there's 4 in the supply canister). The third point in the first area is tricky though, since almost all of the time Gonarch will get stuck and run in place for about 20 seconds before he reaches it, and damage against him doesn't count. I ended up trying it until it worked (and trying to push him down that semi-corridor straight), but -think.circle- says that if you make sure that at the second point the first satchel doesn't do all of the necessary damage, he'll get to point 3 just fine. The second area is pretty predictable but the final area is kind of tricky. I forget to quickly switch to the MP5 after I shoot my rockets, but overall it went well since often he'll just start running in place, causing damage against him to be wasted. I use the 2 tau bursts here because there's 25 energy cells in the canister and it does damage more quickly than the RPG. I'm pretty sure the whole fight (from first shot to the opening of the hole) can be done in around 25 seconds, possibly with help from the egon (which has an enormous damage output per second). I found RPG->MP5 contact grenade->Egon to be quite effective at dealing large amounts of damage.
A cleaner finishing of Gonarch
Contact grenade jumping to the teleporter at the start of Interloper
Part 20: Interloper (42:32 - 43:33)
At the first teleporter the method I use is pretty effective at distracting (well actually blowing up) the two Alien Grunts here. It's a bit better when you have a satchel but I didn't have one at this point. In the factory I get up on the barrel simply by crouching and pressing forward. The snark jump here at first was pretty tricky to work because I only had one of the things. However I found a pretty reliable way to get a lot of height with only one of them: throw it on the ground and don't jump right away, just wait for it to ÂsettleÂ between you and the ground before mashing the jump button.
Using more tau jumping here is faster (low gravity is good when you can only boost horizontally) but your time might suffer on Nihilanth because you really need those energy cells to kill him quickly
Don't stop to kill the two Alien Grunts, it's possible to get by unhurt without doing anything to them
The snark can push you all the way up on the first try
Strafe jump some through the big-barrel-egg room
Use a small tau burst plus hopping in the red vent at the end
Part 21: Interloper / Nihilanth (43:34 - end)
With the route I chose, it was always the same time to get to the top as long as I made the elevators. In addition I had a lot of armor to burn, so putting this before the last boss didn't trouble me much. When the first elevator starts going up I fire a hornet at the third elevator, which is above me. This reverses the elevator and shifts the timing so it gets to the bottom as I get to the top on the second elevator, saving a good amount of time. The Nihilanth part is actually blacked out (like the Gonarch part) at the start, so I wait until I can see to fire the tau at the crystal. I'm hitting Nihilanth with tau fire until I can get up to the secure sniping spot where I can unload the egon. There's a delay between when I kill the crystal and when I start the egon, partially this is because I didn't have it bound and partially because I didn't want to run out (I'm at 2 energy when I grab the canister). After all of his little stars are gone it takes about 20 seconds for his head to open up. Also, at this point he still has quite a big damage pool to drain. If he's not sufficiently damaged, his brain will take a lot of punishment before he actually dies. If you damage him enough beforehand any shot on the brain will kill him. (I recommend you use one shot from the glock, just because it's funnier). I forgot to mention about jump pads: they've got trigger_push entities above them, so for maximum height you can wait until you're walking on the actual pad before you jump. That trigger_push entity works on every object: aliens, grenades, crossbow bolts, RPGs, etc. I use this to give my contact grenades the extra height they need to hit him, then try to hurry down and get above him before his head opens up (the pad down there is just about the only one that can get you above him). When I get teleported away I just snipe the Alien Controllers for fun.
Contact grenade jump up one level, or to the teleporter from the second level. It takes almost all of your health to do it so you can't really take much damage from anything in the room
Using the hornet gun on some different elevators might gain some time
You can tau directly onto the red portal but take a bit of falling damage
Would be difficult, but do a blind shot at the first crystal (with enough charge to break it) right at the start.
Jump right before the jump pad instead of while you're on it. This way you don't go so high and it takes less time to get down and grab the 25 extra energy cells, thus allowing you to start shooting the egon earlier
Make the jump down so you land in the water right beside the second jump pad. Then you should be in the air aiming at his brain when his head opens up, allowing you to instantly make the killing blow